32850 US-43 STE B, THOMASVILLE, AL 36784 844-229-8936 GOLDENTAXRELIEF.COM A $1.5 Million Lesson I CAN’ T ALWAYS BE THE HERO G o l d e n G a z e t t e APR 2018
It’s that time of year again: the month of the taxman. To all of our readers who have already filed, great job! For the rest, well, you’re getting down to the wire. I wish you the best of luck regardless of your filing status, but if you have any troubles down the road, you know who to call. Since switching from tax advising to tax relief, April has become a bit surreal for me. I still brace myself for a busy month, but it never gets as crazy as when I was doing compliance for clients. In the old days, my office used to work upward of 80–100 hours each week. I always made sure to give folks Sundays off, no matter how intense the workload was. Some values are just nonnegotiable. I don’t miss those long, stressful shifts leading up to Tax Day. If you think filing your own taxes is hard, imagine crunching the numbers for dozens of businesses and private persons. One thing’s for certain: You witness the good, the bad, and the ugly in folks when you try to help them bring their taxes into compliance. area, grossing over $28 million a year. Despite this, the man owed over $1.5 million to the IRS. From the beginning, I knew there was a larger issue than just tax problems going on here, but I never back down from a challenge. I jumped into the paperwork, determined to deliver a win for my client. I’ve seen it all. Once, I took on a client who owned five businesses in the Atlanta
It was high-pressure work. When someone owes over $1 million to the IRS, there’s a special unit, the Large Division of ACS, that gets assigned to the case. Essentially, this meant that two or three agents were combing through every single document I submitted. Despite this added scrutiny, I was able to secure an extremely favorable Partial Payment Installment Agreement, or PPIA, between my client and the IRS. We’ll delve more deeply into the specifics of PPIA in this newsletter, but essentially, I cut my client’s debt by 80 percent. Under this agreement, I arranged for the client to pay the IRS $5,000 a month until the remaining five-year statute of limitations (of the original 10-year statute) expired on the debt. This may sound like a lot, because it is. But look at the big picture: The client only had to pay $300,000 instead of $1,500,000. That kind of deal doesn’t just come along every day. I also totally revamped their businesses to run lean, securing the lowest tax rates possible. My hope was to save the client money and prevent tax problems in the future. But you know what they say about leading horses to water. You can’t make them drink. As is the case with so many instances of tax debt, the best payment plan in the world won’t make a lick of difference without the right attitude. Folks have
to want to fix the problem and put in the work. This client just wanted me to wave a magic wand and make the whole problem go away. Despite making over $10,000 a week, this client was finding new and creative ways to live beyond his means. He didn’t own anything. His cars, his house, his boats — they were all on expensive leases. Rather than change his lifestyle and get out of debt, he chose to maintain the facade of wealth, spending money like water. He didn’t keep up with his payments, and he even went to a tax lawyer behind my back, thinking some legal finagling could make all his worries go away. That’s when I washed my hands of him. They backed away from the PPIA agreement, and that $1.5 million debt, with its mountain of interest, came due. This was a hard lesson for me, but one I’m glad I learned. You can pull out all the stops for someone, using every tool and bit of knowledge you have to help them. But if they aren’t serious about helping themselves, there’s not a single thing on this good earth you can do for them.
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Do You Need a Media Detox? The Dangers of Overstimulation
With the current trend of getting TV, social media, and news alerts sent to our phones, we have access to more media than we could ever consume. While constant connectivity is a boon for many aspects of our lives, researchers are discovering that too much stimulation is cause for concern. One study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that too much social comparison, spurred by the likes of Facebook and cable news, can lead to an increased risk of depression. If you find yourself pressured to live up to the public lives of friends and family, or if you feel like you’re being bombarded with too much news and entertainment, consider a media detox. A detox doesn’t require you to unsubscribe from social media services or unplug your TV forever. Instead, think of it as a vacation from the overstimulation so many of us experience. Ask yourself which aspects
of your media diet are causing more stress than they’re worth, and take a break from them for a little while. “In the same way we think about what we eat, we should think about what we read, what we’re seeing, what we’re engaging in, and what we’re interacting with every day,” Emma Watson told CNN in an interview about her selective social media use. If you’re not mindful of your media consumption and participation, it tends to pile up. When you detox, it’s a lot easier to identify which parts of your media diet are essential and which are only a burden. Another benefit of a media detox is that you’ll have more time to pursue new and dormant hobbies. Because most of us consume media in small chunks throughout the day, it’s easy to overlook how much that
time adds up. All those hours you spend on Facebook could be used to start a garden, knit a quilt, or join a soccer league. Unless you have an unlimited supply of leisure time (and who does?), you need to be selective in the way you spend it. Remember, media isn’t the cause of all your ills. Used mindfully, it can actually increase happiness and satisfaction. The problem is that we are so mired in the media muck that we can’t get a perspective on how much is too much. A detox will allow you to reassess the media you’re consuming and build a better plan for the future. You can still keep up with your grandkids on Facebook, but it shouldn’t be the only way you interact with the world.
Is It Right for You? The Partial Payment Installment Agreement
• Complete Form 433 (Collection Information Statement) • Complete Form 9465 (Installment Agreement Request) • Have filed all past tax returns • Have not declared bankruptcy
The Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA) is one of the most powerful avenues for tax relief out there. Like other IRS agreements, a PPIA lets you make fixed monthly payments on your tax debt. However, the PPIA is unique because you only end up paying a portion of the money owed. That’s why it’s called a partial payment. You get square with the IRS at a reduced price, spread out over time. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, the requirements for PPIAs are steep, and it’s difficult to qualify. But in certain situations, they can provide the best means of finding relief. PPIA REQUIREMENTS To apply for a PPIA, you have to submit a full financial disclosure to the IRS, detailing your income, assets, debts, and expenses. Typically, the IRS will only consider a PPIA if you don’t earn enough to pay for a regular installment agreement and you don’t have enough assets to liquidate. You also must meet these requirements: • Owe the IRS over $10,000 in combined debt, penalties, and interest
WHEN TO CONSIDER A PPIA If you meet the aforementioned criteria, a PPIA plan may be right for you. This is especially true if you have previously sought an offer in compromise and were denied. If the payments on a regular installment plan would put you in financial hardship, but you can afford to pay the IRS at least $25 a month, a PPIA is preferable to filing a noncollectible status. At Golden Tax Relief, we understand that everyone’s situation is unique, which is why we’re committed to educating you on the resources and tools available to you for dealing with the IRS. If you think a PPIA would be right for you, please come in for a consultation. We’ll look at your situation and help you find the best avenue for success. 32850 US-43 STE B, THOMASVILLE, AL 36784
MAYWEATHER’S ‘THE MONEY TEAM’
Isn’t So Good With Money
Floyd “Money” Mayweather didn’t get his nickname from being great at balancing his checkbook or managing a 401(k). No, “Money” was the nickname Floyd gave to himself, and he created an entire lifestyle brand around it. “The Money Team” (more commonly known as TMT) promotes all things Mayweather, including clothing, training equipment, and other accessories. But don’t let the name fool you: Mayweather is no financial expert. If he did know how to manage his money, he wouldn’t have landed in this month’s celebrity tax evasion article.
So, while The Money Team and Floyd “Money” Mayweather may be great at using the word “money” for promotion, his tax evasion would suggest he’s pretty awful at using real dough properly.
PUZZLE Instead of dodging Pacquiao’s jabs, Mayweather started dodging the IRS. The fight earned Mayweather over $200 million (all of which was taxable income). Because he didn’t pay the $22.2 million in owed taxes from the fight, the IRS was forced to file While TMT was busy promoting his brand and building his fame, the group of people who were supposed to manage his actual money were nowhere to be found. In 2015, Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in what was promoted as “The Fight of the Century.” Many critiqued the fight as bland and uneventful, as many of Mayweather’s fights have been throughout his career, but no one expected the lack of action to persist beyond the fight.
a lien, and a battle of words ensued. The IRS “just wants to be part of the ‘Money May’ show,” Mayweather argued. Eventually, he filed a reprieve so he could collect his purse from his recent McGregor fight. This wasn’t an isolated incident for Mayweather. In the past 10 years, several liens have been filed by the IRS against Mayweather. Many people speculate that Mayweather took the McGregor fight just so he could pay the massive amount he already owes to the IRS. The only way to get the IRS to release a lien is to pay up or post a bond guaranteeing payment.
PASTA WITH TURKEY AND BROCCOLI
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3/4 pounds pasta (shells or orecchiette)
2 cups broccoli florets 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound ground turkey 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli when pasta is 1 minute from done. Drain both and return to pot. 2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook while breaking up meat with a wooden spoon for 3–5 minutes. 3. Combine turkey with pasta and broccoli mixture, adding the remaining olive oil as you stir. Serve in bowls topped with Parmesan cheese.
(Recipe inspired by realsimple.com)
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page 1 Tax Season Tales page 2 Why You Should Consider a Media Detox When to Seek a Partial Payment Installment Agreement page 3 Mayweather vs. the IRS Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli page 4 The Origins of April Fools’ Day
Fooled Again The History of April Fools’ Day
HILARIA Other historians have linked April Fools’ Day to the ancient Roman festival Hilaria, which was celebrated at the end of March. The festival honored Cybele, a mother of gods, and celebrations included parades, masquerades, and jokes to honor the vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
‘CANTERBURY TALES’ Another origin story comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s 1392 book, “The Canterbury Tales.” There are still questions about whether Chaucer really wrote the stories and whether they have any direct link to April Fools’ Day. In the book, Chaucer describes the date “32 March.” Some believe this was a joke, because March 32 doesn’t exist, but some medievalists insist it was a misprint. April Fools’ Day certainly has murky origins. Whether our traditions come from the Gregorian calendar switch, Hilaria, or even “The Canterbury Tales,” we can all enjoy our chance to let loose and play pranks on our friends and family at least one day each year.
Although April Fools’ Day has been celebrated for centuries by cultures around the world, the holiday’s origin is unclear. Historians point to a variety of possible beginnings, but the only solid conclusion is that the April Fools’ Day we know today is a blend of traditions. THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR In 1582, France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Some people were slow to get the news, and others failed to recognize that the start of the year had moved from April 1 to Jan. 1. Those who celebrated during the last week of March became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. People placed paper fish on the backs of March celebrators to symbolize young, easily caught fish and referred to them as “poissons d’avril,” or “April fools.”
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